The Easter Bunny lied to us

Thanks to the Easter Bunny, many people think that rabbits are simple pets and great gifts, but that’s as far from the truth as it comes.


Photo by Erin Sockolof

A blonde rabbit and a brown rabbit sit contently together on a black sofa.

Erin Sockolof, Opinions Editor

Adorable, fluffy and so sweet to touch, but did you know that Easter leads to the mistreatment and abandonment of rabbits? Many people think that bunnies make for the perfect Easter gift, but that’s simply not true. 

Rabbits are not the easy pets most people see them as. These amazing creatures are a serious commitment. They can live for upwards of 12 years. They also require daily exercise, toys, affection, food, water, hay and treats – not to mention constant brushing and nail trimming. Rabbits can leave behind 200 to 300 jelly beans every day. No, not the yummy kind. You will be spending a lot of time picking up after them! 

The Easter Bunny has left lots of people believing that Rabbits are both easy to take care of and great for kids. Not only are they a lot of work, but they aren’t “kid-friendly.” They can be shy or even aggressive if not properly trained. You need to be calm and gentle when handling them because they have an evolved sense of fear towards predators. Children often don’t know that animals are delicate. Even if they do, they might squeeze the rabbit too hard. This can harm or even kill the poor little creature. So think twice before handing a rabbit to a child. 

The rabbits who do end up being gifted are often abandoned, released into the wild, or turned into shelters. Domestic rabbits will very rarely survive in the wild because they don’t know how to fend for themselves or survive in nature. The rabbits who are turned into shelters often get euthanized because the shelters never have room for them. If you decide not to keep your bun, there’s a good chance that Fluffy won’t survive.

People need to start educating themselves on the reality of having a pet before they purchase or adopt one

We need to change the narrative if we want to save these innocent little creatures. People need to start educating themselves on the reality of having a pet before they purchase or adopt one. To repurpose a common police catchphrase: If you see something, say something. In other words, if someone you know is planning on buying or gifting a rabbit this Easter, fill them in on how harmful their actions could be. Do so kindly and offer to give them more information before they make this big decision.

 In addition to this, people should only adopt rabbits. Store-bought rabbits are often prematurely taken away from their mothers. These bunnies will normally die about two weeks after leaving their moms. This could easily cause trauma for young kids, excited to finally have the pet of their dreams. Plus, by choosing to adopt, you are denying a pet store of that business. If everyone chooses to adopt, pet stores will no longer stock these animals. 

Remember that when you get a pet rabbit, you are not only changing your life, you are also changing the bunny’s. Rabbits become completely reliant on their owners. So don’t take one on if you can’t afford to pay its bills. Most importantly, treat your pets like royalty. Rabbits see themselves as the dominant in their relationship with you. So give them some extra toys, treats and cuddles.